Michael Hill International recorded a 6.8 per cent increase for the quarter ending 30 September

Michael Hill International has recorded increased sales results as the company gears up for the busy Christmas period.

The jewellery retail chain’s revenue increased 6.8 per cent in the three months ended 30 September, compared with the same period last year.

Total revenue for the quarter was $120.2 million, while same-store sales rose 2.8 per cent year-on-year to $114 million, according to the company’s latest financial report.

Michael Hill International (MHI), which finalised its primary listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in July 2016, consists of the Michael Hill and Emma & Roe businesses.

A breakdown of the figures revealed that Michael Hill stores achieved a 5.9 per cent increase in revenue to $117.5 million and a same-store sales rise of 2.8 per cent to $112.6 million.

The biggest strides in the last quarter were made in Canada where the business had a revenue increase of 18.3 per cent and a same-store sales increase of 7.6 per cent year-on-year.

Total revenue and same-store sales were both up 2.5 per cent in New Zealand, while revenue in Australia increased 2.9 per cent and same-store sales rose 1.3 per cent.

Sir Michael Hill, Michael Hill founder

Sir Michael Hill, Michael Hill founder

“Retail continues to be challenging in Australia,” the financial report noted.

Emma & Roe, launched in 2014, achieved a same-store revenue increase of 1.5 per cent and a 71.5 per cent higher total revenue across Australia and New Zealand.

Focus on Christmas

According to the report, focus had shifted to the festive period with the Michael Hill and Emma & Roe businesses respectively having five and four store openings planned prior to Christmas.

“The Christmas period is the most critical quarter for the group’s financial year result and the management team is completely focused on execution of the next three months of trade,” the report read.

The latest announcement followed the company’s highest ever full-year sales result for the 12 months ended 30 June when it recorded total revenue of $551.1 million, an increase of 9.5 per cent compared with the previous year.

In related news, company founder Sir Michael Hill and his family have sold MHI shares to a number of unrelated parties.

The sale by the family’s holding company, Hoglett Hamlett, reduced its stake from 42.89 per cent to 38.86 per cent.

“Since the move of Michael Hill International Limited to ASX there has been very strong demand from Australian investors. We have often been advised that the Hill family could enhance the liquidity and appeal of the company’s shares if we reduced our holding,” Hill explained.

As of 30 September, the company had a total of 320 stores located across Australia, New Zealand, the US and Canada.